June 8, 2016 | Flight distance: 1445 nm | Hours in the air: 4.05
Handling for the first time was painful at Port Moresby which just complemented to our overall impression but we were airborne just about 15 minutes later than scheduled. We are still mostly heading eastwards, loosing yet another hour today which amounts now to 9 hours ahead of Central Europe.
We went for an in-depth look at Honiara on Guadalcanal and its surroundings according to Professor Thomas’ list of places to see such as government buildings, power plants, wasteyards and so on complemented by visiting WWII memorials (American and Japanese) as well as relics. Afterwards there was enough time to relax the second part of the afternoon at the beach.
Video from the US WWII Memorial on Guadalcanal.
The Solomon Islands are a sovereign country comprising of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu, covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometers (two thirds of the size of Switzerland). The country’s capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal.
Unlike many other Islands in the South Pacific, the Solomons have been inhabited for thousands of years before Melanesian people of Lapita settled around 2000 BC. First European visitors were the Spanish, followed by the English and whalers in the late 18th century. The British possessed the islands until WWII. Invaded by the Japanese, Guadalcanal was the site of numerous heavy battles until the Americans finally got the upper hand in 1942. Britain, been reinstalled as the power, released the country into independence in 1978. Ethnic tensions and unstable governments lead to a civil war in 1999 and only an Australian lead coalition of police brought some stability. The political situation remains very fragile.